Study abroad experiences offer much more than Instagrammable travel photos and delicious cuisine; they can help you gain valuable life lessons, expand your horizons, and develop global networks.
But where should you begin? This guide can assist in the understanding and management of the process as well as any challenges that may arise while living abroad.
Choosing a Study Abroad Program
When choosing a study abroad program, students should carefully consider their academic goals. If taking on an intensive course load while abroad is of particular interest to them, programs that meet this need should be explored further; while students looking to explore local culture might prefer programs which provide ample opportunities for interaction between host country residents.
Students should carefully consider how long they want to study abroad for. While some programs last an entire semester or only several months, making this choice is an important one as it could affect a student’s ability to adapt quickly when living abroad. Students should ensure their choice fits within their degree plan as well.
Consultation with friends, family, and advisors who have studied or traveled extensively is also key in selecting an international study abroad program. They can offer insights and recommendations that may help narrow down one’s options. Students should also view college websites to gain more information about individual program offerings as well as any partnerships between study abroad offices and external agencies that run these programs.
Applying for a Study Abroad Program
Once you’ve identified your academic interests, the next step should be searching for an overseas study program that meets those. Be sure to find one offering courses related to your major, affiliated with your current school, and accredited by a recognized university or organization. Furthermore, ensure the people working on your journey are enthusiastic about helping guide the process efficiently.
Many schools have their own programs for students to participate in; NYU is one such example. Since these programs are run entirely by the college itself, transfer credits are straightforward and costs tend to be cheaper compared to alternative options. Furthermore, these programs may help meet strict academic requirements.
Other universities don’t operate their own study abroad offices but instead contract with organizations to host students on their behalf. These programs tend to be more flexible than the ones run directly by schools and often include things such as orientation sessions, airport pickup service, housing accommodations and meals. If applying, letters of recommendation from faculty may also be required; in these instances it might be worthwhile asking those you respect or know for permission if they would write one on your behalf.
Preparing for Study Abroad
Preparing to study abroad may seem intimidating and intimidating, but the experience will prove rewarding and transform you into a better global citizen. You will gain knowledge about other cultures while creating life-long memories to treasure forever.
First step of preparation for study abroad consultant: selecting a program tailored to your needs, budget and schedule. You have two options when selecting an international program: school-run programs or independent companies offering more flexibility at lower costs.
At this stage, learning the local language should also be your next priority. Even if it means only being able to grasp a few phrases, learning can make you feel more at home in its culture. There are language classes or even apps such as Duolingo that will provide this practice if necessary.
Finally, be sure to have all of the required documents (passport, health insurance card and credit cards). It’s a good idea to have copies of important papers just in case something goes amiss. Also consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go plan cell phone so you can communicate with loved ones without incurring international charges when calling and texting loved ones; and try visiting at least once during your study abroad program if financially possible.
Many study abroad programs are managed through third-party organizations that organize housing and travel excursions for their students. While this approach can be more affordable than direct enrollment, it might not suit every student.
Once a student has selected their ideal study abroad program, the next step should be preparing for their time abroad. This may involve making sure they possess a valid passport, booking round-trip plane tickets (which may require proof that you will not overstay visa limits) and making sure health insurance and phone plans will work internationally – in some countries proof of immunization is even necessary!
Preparations can seem intimidating, yet they’re essential to the success of studying abroad experiences. A well-organized trip will enable students to connect with cultures different than their own, enrich their own education with foreign language proficiency and gain a global perspective that they won’t get otherwise.
Although many may question whether studying abroad is right for them, it’s essential that they recognize its many advantages. By carefully considering their goals, program options, finances and funding opportunities it could become one of their best decisions ever – not to mention discovering more of this incredible world while discovering who they really are!